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Sue Weems: Editor, Bbp Participant, Author, Contributor
Member since June 25, 2015

Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and traveller with an advanced degree in (mostly fictional) revenge. When she’s not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and dramatic asides), she follows a sailor around the globe with their four children, two dogs, and an impossibly tall stack of books to read. You can read more of her writing tips on her website.


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How to Revolutionize Your Character Motivation
by Sue Weems in How to Revolutionize Your Character Motivation
10:32 am on August 21, 2020

Whether I’ve blown it at work or reacted poorly at home (hypothetically of course), I often need a fresh start. Why? Because I’m human and I have a tendency to get in a rut. Sometimes my ruts are grounded in bad habits or faulty beliefs.

It’s not great for me as a human being, but it’s terrific for fiction. The first step to making a fresh start for me or my characters? Figuring out our default settings.

How to Develop Story Ideas Into Amazing Stories

I often hear practicing writers ask, “What if I can’t think of anything to write about?” Sometimes they even have notebooks full of observations, but they feel like none of them are good enough for a story.

I’ve felt the same way, but there are more opportunities or seeds for ideas in our notebooks than we think. It might be an image, a snippet of a conversation we overheard at lunch, or a social issue that grates against us. Once we have the seeds, how do we take those seeds and develop them into stories?

The Secret to Writing the Middle of a Story
by Sue Weems in The Secret to Writing the Middle of a Story
10:00 am on July 10, 2020

If you’ve ever had the middle of a manuscript sag and feel flabby, congrats. You’re a writer! One of the questions I ask when get stuck in the middle of a manuscript is this: “How can I make this worse for this character?” One of the key elements you might use is the very thing we try so hard to avoid on a daily basis: abrasive people.

How can an abrasive character push your character’s arc, keep the plot moving, and deepen the theme? Read on to find out.

How to Research Your Genre to Write Better Stories

The first time I wrote a novel, I didn’t think about genre until the first draft was done, and I began trying to untangle my mess in revision. After two painful years (mostly comprised of avoidance, procrastination, and general despair), I hired a developmental editor who began our first phone call by asking, “What kind of book is this?” and “Who is your ideal reader?”

“It’s for everyone,” I said. I could hear the rise and fall of my breathing in the silence.

“No, it isn’t,” she said in a kind, but firm voice. Within minutes, I realized I had skipped a clarifying question that would guide every step of the book process from the plot and characters to cover design and marketing.

Grammarly Vs. Hemingway: A Professional Writer’s Opinion

Can book writing software replace an editor? Nope. But it can help you improve your grammar and readability.

You were born to tell stories and share your message with the world. But you sit down to type and something terrible happens. Your fingers misspell things. Verbs switch tenses as you type. Nothing works quite like it did when it was still just a compelling idea in your head.

You reread and catch a few errors, but what if you’ve reached the end of your grammar prowess? Need some book writing software to help improve your writing?

Why Does Writing Matter? Why You Should Write When You Worry it Doesn’t

Many of us are lucky to have people around us who understand or at least support our writing habits and dreams. But even with the best support, sometimes it feels like my writing is silly in the face of so many other pressing world problems. How do you keep writing when it seems inconsequential?

How to Find the Best Fiction Writing Exercises in Your Favorite Novel

Writing practice is at the heart of everything we do here at The Write Practice. Every week, we share new fifteen-minute writing exercises to help you practice and grow as a writer.

But what if you could build your own practice exercises? What if you could find something you love in a story someone else has written, and then practice how to recreate that yourself? What if you could take the lead in your own growth as a writer and learn from your favorite stories and authors?

You can! Here are three steps to help you analyze any text to learn its secrets and apply its lessons. 

Writing Prompt: Two Reasons to Write About Departures

Whether leaving for vacation or a job in a new city, departures can be stressful, exciting, and full of conflict. Use this prompt to reimagine a departure today in your writing time. 

I think there are two qualities about any departure that make them great for writing. See if you agree and try this prompt with me today!

Writing Priorities: Forget Balance in Your Writing and Do This One Thing Instead

Three different people have asked me in the last month about how to balance their writing, work, family, and life. Step 1: ask someone who actually knows. I’m too busy coordinating home repairs while my spouse travels for work. New water heater this week. Broken window replaced last week.

But I realized dealing with a broken water heater is actually a perfect example of how to manage multiple areas of your life while you keep writing. Hint: it has nothing to do with balance.

How to Enjoy Writing and Make the Most of NaNoWriMo

Do you hear that sound? The furious scratching of pens and the clacking of keyboards has begun around the world as the month of writing abandon is finally here. Whether or not you’re participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), here are a few quick tips to help you enjoy writing this month, no matter what your goals are. 

How to Make Characters Take Action (And Make Writers Take Action, Too)

I was recently reading a story in development and found myself irritated with the main character. Why? I thought. They have a good plan, they care about their goal, and their dialogue is engaging. As I kept reading, I found myself wanting to shout, “Get on with it already!” Suddenly I recognized exactly what the problem was, and worse, I realized I do it too.

How to Create a Character Based on Internet Comments Sections

Do you argue with strangers on the internet? (I plead the fifth). Even if you have enough self-control not to engage most arguments and comment sections, chances are high that you think through how you would argue with them if you weren’t fairly certain they are a troll in an alternate universe. Also if your mother wasn’t your friend on Facebook.

Are you leveraging those thoughts? Or just rehearsing them, allowing yourself to feel irritated and angry? Put that energy to good use for your writing. Your next character is hiding in the comments section of nearly any forum. Here’s how to find him or her.

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